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All-Reviews.com Top 50 Songs*:
for the 1st week of March, 2001

*based on airplay at alternative, pop and rock radio stations a cross the nation (reviews by LarryG)

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  1. Dave Matthews Band-I Did It    (unchanged)      buy it!
    With Matthews singing about mixing up "a magic mushroom cloud of care", I Did It, from the Everyday CD, has a bit of the trippy feel of Don't Drink The Water from Before These Crowded Streets. Even more, it has the mischievous feel of What Would You Say with the normally mellow Matthews having a good time, urging those in love, "don't turn it down, turn it loud, let it build" and "spread the love you got." Matthews' debauched delivery is a little too cute but the mood is generally fun. The solid band keep things moving forward with steady, unshowy backing.

  2. Lifehouse-Hanging By A Moment    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Hanging By A Moment is from the No Name Face CD. Lifehouse are another young band clearly showing their Pearl Jam and Nirvana influences. There's a similarity between Lifehouse and Creed, the most successful Pearl Jam soundalikes. But on Hanging By A Moment, Lifeboat are serious without Creed's bloated excess. Hanging By A Moment is a familiar sounding rock ballad but Jason Wade is appealingly sincere, singing about "falling even more in love" and "letting go of all I've held onto", "living for the only thing I know."

  3. U2-Walk On    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    Walk On, the second chart hit from All That You Can't Leave Behind, shows how U2 have returned to the sincerity and idealism of their 80's work but express it in a more subtle, mature way. Walk On is a tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her brave struggle against the repressive Burmese government. Bono's admiration is clear as he sings, "you could have flown away, a singing bird in an open cage who will only fly for freedom." But Walk On avoids the stridency of the band's early political songs. Bono's vocal is appealingly restrained. The music, with The Edge's glistening guitar line, has a quiet beauty as well as a solid Larry Mullen beat.

  4. Fuel-Hemorrhage    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Fuel broke through with Shimmer, from their Sunburn CD. That song had a hard rock sound and was catchy but didn't seem too gimmicky. Hemorrhage, from the new Something Like Human CD, doesn't have Shimmer's light touch. With its dramatic strings and acoustic guitar, Hemorrhage is calculated to be a smash hit rock ballad. Brett Scallions is ever so intense as he sings Carl Bell's bombastic lyrics asking her not to leave love bleeding in my his hands, as if Elton John and many others hadn't thought of the image before.

  5. Moby-South Side    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    So many songs on Moby's Play CD, beyond being great dance songs, are brilliant little works of art. More than 1˝years after its release, new people are still learning how great Play is. South Side, the 7th single from Play, is Moby's biggest hit yet. South Side has been remixed as a duet with No Doubt's Gwen Stefani. Her vocals give the new version a slicker, less menacing feel than the edgy album version. Even on the original, Moby's quavering falsetto on the chorus made it hard to believe him as a tough guy out with his boys, prepared for a gun fight and hoping "we won't die." Still, his slicing guitar, moody synths and tough beat create a good, foreboding atmosphere.

  6. Lenny Kravitz-Again    (down 3 positions)      buy it!
    It's galling to me that someone's decided that Lenny Kravitz's uninspired Hendrix and Sly Stone retreads deserve a greatest hits CD. Still, this new song isn't as annoying as most of his work. It has a nice groove with a good bass and drums high in the mix. Kravitz' vocals are typically complacent and his lyrics are pretty terrible as he sings about hearing a cry in his soul and about never having "a yearning quite like this before" and wondering if he'll ever see his "sacred gift of heaven" again. Kravitz also pulls off an awful, cliched rock guitar solo in the middle. However, while Again is pretty insubstantial, it has a appealingly easy mood.

  7. Crazy Town-Butterfly    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    Butterfly is from the The Gift Of Game CD. Like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Crazy Town are a relaxed L.A. band familiar with hip hop and punk. Butterfly is knowingly stupid dance pop. It has a little of the vibe of Folk Implosion's Natural One and Sublime's What I Got. The song has an easy mood and a rapped string of cliches praising the positive effects of a woman, including "it doesn't get better than this", "I see the sun break through the dark clouds", "you showed me life is precious" and "I was lost, now I'm found."

  8. Aerosmith-Jaded    (up 3 positions)      buy it!
    Aerosmith's new CD is called Just Push Play. Jaded vaguely resembles the much better Janie's Got A Gun. It's the kind of slick, commercial music Aerosmith's made since their late 80's comeback. Jaded is kind of dopey. The lyrics keep telling us she's jaded but don't find many interesting ways to say it. Steven Tyler's distinctive shriek wails fairly meaningless lines like "you think you're where it's at but is that where it's supposed to be?" Jaded is superficial but also catchy, well made and inoffensive. Aerosmith take no chances, throwing in lots of pleasing sounds from strings, rock guitar and a familiar "my my baby blue" chorus.

  9. Incubus-Drive    (unchanged)      buy it!
    The third chart hit from the Make Yourself CD is my favorite Incubus single so far. As usual, Brandon Boyd's lyrics are pretty serious but they have an appealing vulnerability and modest optimism. Boyd sings about feeling "the fear of uncertainty" but finding he can stop it from taking control. Boyd's singing is also serious but not overly dramatic. The band and producer Scott Litt provide a likably simple musical setting based around acoustic guitar and light percussion.

  10. Coldplay-Yellow    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Coldplay follow Travis as a successful British band that's aware of their harder alternative predecessors but choose a mild, polite image and make smooth, pleasant music. Yellow is a sweet love song, a tribute to a woman who makes the stars shine and a list of things he'd do for her. The sound, with strings and a steadily strummed electric guitar, is rich and inviting and becomes more dense and intense. Chris Martin's voice is vulnerable and yearning, like Radiohead's Thom Yorke's, but Martin's lacks eccentricity and anguish. Its unpretentious thinness has an appealing honesty.

  11. Dido-Thank You    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    Dido's No Angel CD has become a huge hit nearly two years after its release. First, the atmospheric Here With Me slowly approached near hit status. Then, Eminem's use of a piece of Thank You on Stan brought attention. Now, Stan is out of the top 50 after four weeks on the chart and Thank You has easily topped its peak position. Like David Gray, another slow building success from Britain with an adult audience, Dido's charms are subtle. I find Dido's music less interesting than Gray's but No Angel does have a sleek appeal. The use of percussion and electronica effects is tasteful and minimal but it does give Thank You a good texture that makes it more than just easy listening. Dido's vocals are fluid and smart and add edge to the smooth sound. Thank You's lyrics about how "just to be with you is having the best day of my life" are sappy but Dido's story of a love that "reminds me that it's not so bad" even when everything seems to be going wrong, is sweet.

  12. Green Day-Warning    (down 5 positions)      buy it!
    The joyful songs Church On Sunday and Waiting are my favorites from the Warning CD but the title track is a decent pick for a second single. It's a good example of how solid and unpretentious the new record is. Green Day have become a little more mature without being too serious. Warning reminds me of John Mellancamp's sturdy rock songs, especially Crumblin' Down. Mike Dirnt's chunky bass line keeps the song moving forward as Billie Joe invokes a series of warnings we grew up with that suggest dangers all around us.

  13. Three Doors Down-Loser    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Kryptonite, the hit from Three Doors Down's Better Life CD, has a fairly depressing lyric but it also has a light musical touch and a charmingly simple, unshowy sound. It rocks but without the lugubrious, heavy feeling of so much rock music these days. Loser is less interesting, more standard rock radio fare. Like their peers, on Loser, Three Doors Down take the serious, intense rock ballads of Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam and remake them with less personality. Loser has the formula down with serious vocals and intense acoustic verses leading to choruses with big electric guitars. They really overdo it on the bridge with big classic rock chords, for no particular reason. The lyrics are yet another mordant tale of a young man pushed to the edge. Brad Arnold sings that a woman is "getting close to pushing me off life's little ledge." The only positive note is that he also realizes "someday this will fall away" and he'll find "a love that flows through me."

  14. Aaron Lewis and Fred Durst-Outside    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Outside is the bonus track on the 1999 Family Values Tour CD. Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst "discovered" the band Staind early in their career and produced their 1999 Dysfunction CD. Dysfunction had two rock radio hits: the power ballad Home and the intense rocker Mudshovel. Both songs had Aaron Lewis' intense vocals and lyrics about his troubled mind. Outside is a duet between Lewis and Durst. The acoustic guitar backing is appealing but Lewis' vocals are again a little overwrought as he sings that the person who torments him is screwed up inside, just like he is.

  15. Linkin Park-One Step Closer    (unchanged)      buy it!
    One Step Closer is from the Hybrid Theory CD. Like Korn, Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach, Linkin Park are an angry band who mix a hip hop sensibility to their heavy metal but they're even less appealing than those bands. The sound is nasty with yelled vocals and harsh guitar chords. One Step Closer is about another young white guy so troubled that he "can't take this anymore." It's not specified, but the lyrics probably refer to a woman: "everything you say to me, takes me one step closer to the edge and I'm about to break."

  16. Matchbox 20-If You're Gone    (unchanged)      buy it!
    The second single from Matchbox 20's Mad Season is wimpy but nice. I'm not a big ballad fan but If You're Gone is one of my favorite mellow songs of the year. Rob Thomas' singing is often overdramatic but here it's nicely understated. The music, with inobtrusive guitar and keyboards, fits the sad, resigned song as Thomas sings, "I think I've already lost you." But the song also has some hope. Thomas has finally been roused to action and is willing to try harder: "I think I can need this in my life." Horns rising at the end of the song match the cautiously optimistic feeling.

  17. Three Doors Down-Duck And Run    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Kryptonite was insinuating and distinctive but the rest of This Better Life is fairly routine rock. Three Doors Down don't have the nasty edge of some of their contemporaries but they sound like Candlebox and many other young rock bands. Duck and Run, like Loser, is sturdy but uninteresting. It's the hardest of their radio songs, with big, familiar power chords. As on the band's other chart hits, Brad Arnold seriously sings about the problems he's going through. He mostly avoids self pity but Duck and Run is a fairly standard angry young man screed about an uncaring world. Arnold doesn't clarify what he won't duck and run from or why "all my work and endless measures never seem to get me very far."

  18. Fuel-Innocent    (up 1 position)      buy it!
    The promise of Fuel's last CD, Sunburn, is unfulfilled as they follow the first single from the Something Like Human CD, the ever so intense power ballad Hemorrhage, with the even less interesting musically and more commercially calculated Innocent. The lyrics are self pitying garbage. Singer Brett Scallions sings of a complicated life with "smiles all confiscated", complaining that "when we were innocent", "never were we told we'd be bought and sold." Innocent has many of the standard, contrived elements of a hit rock ballad. It starts with meaningfully strummed acoustics and builds with tasteful drums and soaring guitars while Scallions strains to show emotion.

  19. Jennifer Lopez-Love Don't Cost A Thing    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    Love Don't Cost A Thing is the first single from Lopez' J. Lo CD. People are bound to see the song as commentary on Lopez' relationship with Puffy Combs. Lopez sings about a paranoid guy who thinks she's with him to spend his cash and drive his Benz. She reassures her man that, "ever if you were broke", "all that matters is that you treat me right." In the end, she decides to leave until he shows his love is true and gives her "all the things I need that money can't buy." Opening with symphonic drums, Love Don't Cost A Thing has good beats and the kind of cool, clean kind of production Rodney Jerkins gave Toni Braxton's He Wasn't Man Enough and Brandy & Monica's The Boy Is Mine. Lopez' voice, pretty thin in the past, is generally hidden by backing vocals. But when she's on her own, her modest singing has an interesting flow, dramatically changing pace.

  20. Train-Drops Of Jupiter    (up 7 positions)      buy it!
    Drops Of Jupiter is the title track from Train's new CD. Train broke through with their likable, unassuming hit Meet Virginia. Drops Of Jupiter is also appealing though, with its soaring strings, this rock ballad seems a little more calculated. Drops Of Jupiter is a nice tribute to love and an impressive woman whose growth convinces singer Pat Monahan "that there's time to change."

  21. U2-Beautiful Day    (down 3 positions)      buy it!
    After spending much of the 90's making cynical, edgy and more dance oriented music, U2 return to the purer sound of their Unforgettable Fire/Joshua Tree era for a great single from the new All That You Can't Leave Behind CD. Beautiful Day starts like a New Order dance song but quickly shifts to the band's classic sound with The Edge's chiming guitar and Adam Clayton's percolating bass. Beautiful Day is about appreciating life. Even if "you're out of luck and the reason that you had to care", you're not a hopeless case so don't let the beauty get away. The music parallels the optimistic lyrics with Bono and The Edge's optimistic, yearning lead and backing vocals.

  22. Godsmack-Awake    (unchanged)      buy it!
    The title track from the new Awake CD is more nasty, unappetizing hard rock from Godsmack. Awake is similar to Keep Away from their last record. Awake has headbanging guitars and Sully Erna's angry screamed and growled vocals. On Awake, he seems to be blaming another for his problems and says, "I hope you're satisfied."

  23. Madonna-Don't Tell Me    (unchanged)      buy it!
    Don't Tell Me, the second single from the Music CD, was written by producer Mirwais Ahmadzai and a pop music odd couple, Madonna and her brother in law, atmospheric folk rocker Joe Henry. The lyrics are pretty familar. Telling Madonna to stop loving her man is like telling "the rain not to drop", the wind not to blow" and "the sun not to shine." Henry's minimal, twisted writing style isn't too evident, except maybe towards the end: "tell the bed not to lay, like the open mouth of a grave/not to stare at me, like a calf down on its knees." Don't Tell Me is pretty insubstantial but it has a good, easy mood. The sound is clear and simple with acoustic guitar, solid beats, strings and some silly sonic effects to spice things up. Madonna's vocals are pleasant and not too bad.

  24. Barenaked Ladies-Too Little Too Late    (up 2 positions)      buy it!
    BNL's main singer Stephen Page is outdone on the Maroon CD by Ed Robertson, who has two of the new CD's best songs, Pinch Me and Falling For The First Time. However, Page has a few good songs and Too Little Too Late may be the best of them. Maroon's second single is a little like Stunt's It's All Been Done. Too Little Too Late is fun, high energy straight ahead rock with Robertson's good, tight guitar riff. Page's self centered character blames his partner for his bad behavior, saying he would be good, "if I knew I was understood" and dooms the relationship by always being a little late in correcting his faults.

  25. The Offspring-Want You Bad    (unchanged)      buy it!
    The second single from the Conspiracy Of One CD follows the colorful silliness of the rock/hip hop hybrid Original Prankster, with a returns to The Offspring's punk pop signature sound. Want You Bad is also stupid, a dopey male fantasy, but it's very energetic with fast, fun guitars and drums. With his typical yell, Dexter tells his girl "you're too nice" and advises her to get tattoos and mistreat him.

Songs 26-50


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